Friday, March 1, 2013

Lexe Selman, Acute Myeloid Leukemia, and Soccer supplanted by blog as the #1 result for "leukemia blog" on Google. Boy, am I glad. I love this story.

Have you ever played soccer? Have you ever had a full round of chemotherapy meant to put Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) into remission, and then played soccer?

I have. I played in a meadow with my sons and their friends. I played outside defense so I wouldn't be too much of a detriment to the team. At least there I could try to get in the way and slow an opposing striker down. Ten meter sprints were exhausting.

Lexe Selman plays at a much higher level than me. I'm one of those old men who's supposed to get leukemia that you'll hear about in her videos. In fact, at 50, I was young for an Acute Leukemia (AUL for me) patient.

Lexe was the captain of her high school soccer team. She had a soccer scholarship to the University of Arizona. Then, in April of her senior year, less than one year ago, she was diagnosed with AML.

What a life change, to be stricken by a cancer that normally hits men older than me.

I'm going to tell you this story in short form before I give you the video link.

After her first chemo, shortly before she had to go back for a second round, she went back to her club soccer team. She talked the doctors into letting her warm up with team. (There's a great picture of her warming up in a ski cap like I still wear often and a surgical mask.) The team enjoyed it so much that they asked the coach if she could start and stay in for one play. The idea was to pass it to her, have her kick it out, then be replaced.

That's not what happened. You have to see this kick she made. It's from a distance, taken with an iPhone, but there's no doubt about how good a kick it was.

And it was made between rounds of AML chemotherapy, which wipes out your bone marrow and thus your entire blood system, forcing you to survive on transplants until your blood system rebuilds over the next month, usually only to about 80% of what it was.

Enough said:

Go here and scroll down to June 3. That link will open a new window so that you can come back here and follow this link to get an update from a couple weeks ago.

I cried yesterday when I saw her videos, and I cried today when I found them again for this blog.

Man, do I love stories like this and attitudes like Lexe Selman's.

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